Living In Vitro

In an article published on the New Scientist website in June 2017, scientists from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom discussed a study they recently performed on infants in the womb. The study, originally published in the science journal Current Biology studied the reaction of infants in the third trimester to red light. Four different configurations for the light were used, one of which vaguely resembled a face and one of which vaguely resembled an upside down face.  The researchers used ultrasound to track whether the baby attempted to follow the beams of light as they passed across its body.

It is an established fact that babies look for faces upon being born.  A 1991 study, also done in the UK, established this fact. However, this study took the test into the womb itself using completely non-invasive methods. The results were remarkable. According to the New Scientist article “Out of 195 tests of each configuration, fetuses turned to follow the “face” shape 40 times, and the inverted image only 14 times. ”  The other two configurations, which were two triangles with the points spaced out, were completely ignored.  Essentially, even before birth, the baby in the womb knows the rough outline of a human face and attempts to look at it. This has no real developmental applications for the infant in the womb, but there are some ideas here to take away from this article which are of interest to Creationists.

There are two takeaways from this article. The first is that all the noise generated by Planned Parenthood and its ilk about how babies are not human until they are born takes another hit.  If a baby in the womb can do the exact same thing a baby out of the womb can do, where is the difference? A baby that has been born looks for faces. So does an unborn baby.  Where is the difference?  Surely the abortion industry does not expect us to believe that a blob of cells can recognize what a human face looks like. Further, the fact that infants look for faces is indicative of a certain amount of thought taking place.  A blob of cells does not think, but a baby can think.

The second takeaway from the article is a blow to the evolutionary theory.  Human infants and babies in the womb both seek to look at faces when given the opportunity.  It is a built-in, instinctive desire for an infant to look at the face of the person holding it or any other person nearby. Where did this desire come from? Of what evolutionary benefit is it to the infant to look at faces? It is likely that this desire is meant to help a newborn bond with its parents, particularly its mother.  While some animals do have some paternal bonding, in no animal is the paternal bond anything like what is found in humanity. Of what evolutionary benefit is this bond? How would a highly evolved animal benefit from having a bond with its parents that causes it to care for them when they can be of no benefit to it? The fact that an infant attempts to look for a face, even when it is in the womb, speaks to design. No random chance process would put something so un-beneficial into place and allow it to pass down through generations and yet it is there.  Further, recognizing the general outline of a face requires innate knowledge of what a face looks like. Where did that information come from? How does an unborn baby, which has never seen a human face, know what it looks like? This instinctive knowledge has to be explained.



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